The guardian of the lion dance of the Tay and Nung ethnic groups

The lion dance of the Tay and Nung ethnic groups in Lang Son province was recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2017. Since then, the preservation and promotion of this heritage has received much attention from local people and authorities at all levels.
Meritorious artist Hoang Van Cai has made significant contributions to preserving the lion-cat dance.
Meritorious artist Hoang Van Cai has made significant contributions to preserving the lion-cat dance.

Meritorious artist Hoang Van Cai, a 46-year-old artisan in Son Hong village, Gia Cat commune, Cao Loc district, is one of the few practitioners who master skills and techniques of the lion-cat dance.

Cai said that since he was a boy, he watched lion dance performances at the village’s spring festivals, and he was very impressed with the bustling and exciting performances.

In 1996, he started learning about the rules, movements, and rituals of the dance from the village’s elders.

With 24 years of dedication to the practice, Hoang Van Cai has mastered skills and techniques in most of the types of lion dance of Tay and Nung ethnic groups, such as dancing at the temple, dancing to celebrate the new year in the village, dancing at festivals, stick dance, knife dance, jumping, and jumping through a ring of fire.

Over the past years, he has regularly participated in performances on holidays and the New Year festival as well as contests and cultural exchanges inside and outside the province.

He has also been active in teaching the art form to students in Gia Cat commune and Cao Loc district in general. To date, he has taught 90 ethnic minority children in Cao Loc district.

The guardian of the lion dance of the Tay and Nung ethnic groups ảnh 1

The lion-cat dance not only shows the sportsmanship of people in the mountainous area, but it is also a symbol of prosperity, happiness and blessings. (Photo: VOV)

The lion-cat dance not only shows the sportsmanship of people in the mountainous area, but it is also a symbol of prosperity, happiness and blessings. It is believed that wherever the lion goes, he brings happiness, prosperity and joy.

The lion dance of the Tay and Nung ethnic groups is an art form combining music, dance movements, martial arts, and cultural and religious values.

According to Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the People's Committee of Gia Cat Commune, Dang Duc Son, artisan Hoang Van Cai has made significant contributions to safeguarding and upholding the value of lion dance heritage.

He hailed Cai’s active participation in cultural exchange programmes and festivals inside and outside the province as well as his dedication to teaching young generations about the ancestors’ art.

“Cai is a shining example of preserving the culture of ethnic minority groups in the locality,” he stressed.

With his remarkable services, Hoang Van Cai has been awarded with many certificates of merit by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism as well as of Lang Son provincial authorities.

Recently, he was honoured with the ‘Meritorious Artisan’ title in performing folklore arts.

NDO